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FOUR PAWS Responds to Chilean Zoo Suicide Incident

FOUR PAWS disappointed: Zoo fails to protect its visitors and animals


At the Santiago Metropolitan Zoo in Santiago, Chile, a man climbed the fence of a lion enclosure and provoked an attack from the big cats in an attempt to take his own life. The staff at the zoo made the decision to fatally shoot the lions, rationalizing that tranquilizers would have taken too much time and cost the man his life.


After the incident, the zoo released the following statement: “Due to the circumstances and to firstly protect the life of this person, we found ourselves obliged to apply all of our security protocols.”


The important questions to draw from this are: Could the zoo have done more to avoid shooting its own lionsWould having higher standards of animal welfare and human safety protocols protect the animals and the unfortunate individual who climbed the fence?


FOUR PAWS believes that if the zoo had implemented higher standards, this incident would have not happened. The fact that there are hundreds of zoos worldwide without proper standards of care and safety, needs to be addressed to ensure these facilities remain safe for animals and visitors.  Furthermore, FOUR PAWS calls on Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo to review the standards of its enclosures and ensure that this incident will not be repeated.


The incident at the Santiago’s Metropolitan Zoo highlights the need for the adoption and implementation of the highest possible standards to protect the captive animals and the people who visit the facilities. FOUR PAWS would like to see all countries ensure that their zoos have high standards in security and protection ultimately ensuring incidents like this cannot happen in the future.


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